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Deryck Whibley captured alcoholism struggle in new 'concept' record

Published 06/07/2016

Deryck Whibley
Deryck Whibley

Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley always reflects his mood and emotions when writing music.

Deryck Whibley has explored some of his darkest days in the songs he has written for his band Sum 41's new record.

The band's frontman was hospitalised in 2014 for alcoholism, after his liver and kidney collapsed. He spent almost over a month in care before being released to recover on his own.

Although he revealed on Facebook that he was working on new music for Sum 41 not long after his health scare, it was only at the beginning of this year (16) that Deryck revealed the band's new album was nearly finished, with the group announcing in June (16) that 13 Voices would be released in October (16).

"In many ways, it's a concept record - but it's about myself. It's about my process of completely falling apart and rebuilding everything up to now. It's the timeline of the fall and rise," Deryck told gigwise.com of the album, explaining that he wrote the music in a new way by setting up a big screen in his studio and writing lyrics to movie images.

"I would put on Tim Burton or (Quentin) Tarantino films for these really dark images, so it felt like I was writing a 'hard-score' punk album. A lot of it to me sounds cinematic. When I listen to it, I can see the images of a movie."

He also noted how being in hospital made him realise the severity of his condition and with so much time on his hands to think, the 36-year-old knew he had to make new music.

Mixing metal with punk, Deryck describes 13 Voices as "dark and edgy" compared to Sum 41's previous offerings, such as All Killer, No Filler which boasted hits In Too Deep and Fat Lip.

"There's not too much light on the album," he explained. "It's been a dark and tough for me, I wrote these songs during a dark time of my life but it deals with mature life situations. The music always reflects who I am at that time of my life. There's still a lot of me that's 15-years-old, but I'm getting older and this is where I'm at."

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